Kix BrooksLeon Eric Brooks III, known as Kix Brooks (born May 12, 1955), is an American country music artist, actor, and film producer best known for being one half of the duo Brooks & Dunn and host of radio's American Country Countdown. Prior to the duo's foundation, he was a singer and songwriter, charting twice on Hot Country Songs and releasing an album for Capitol Records. Brooks and Ronnie Dunn comprised Brooks & Dunn for twenty years, then both members began solo careers. Brooks's solo career after Brooks & Dunn includes the album New to This Town.
In 2019, Brooks & Dunn were selected for the Country Music Hall of Fame.
Early lifeBrooks grew up in Shreveport, Louisiana. He has a sister, a half-sister, and a half-brother; his father also adopted a son of his third wife. After graduating from the former Sewanee Military Academy, an Episcopal school in Sewanee, Tennessee, Brooks attended Louisiana Tech University in Ruston as a theatre arts major. He moved to Alaska to work with his father on an oil pipeline for one summer, then returned to Louisiana Tech to finish his education. After graduating, he moved to Maine to write advertising for a company owned by his sister and brother-in-law.
Brooks' father urged him to pursue his desire to become a musician, and he moved to Nashville, Tennessee in the early 1980s. His then-girlfriend (now wife Barbara, with whom he has a son and daughter) followed shortly thereafter. He worked for Tree Publishing as a staff songwriter. He recorded his first solo single, Baby, When Your Heart Breaks Down, for Avion in 1983, but returned to songwriting after it failed to chart. Brooks and Dan Tyler co-wrote Modern Day Romance, released by The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band in June 1985; it became the band's second No. 1 hit on the country chart.
Brooks released an album, Kix Brooks, in 1989 on Capitol Records. This album also featured the song "Sacred Ground rising to No. 2 country hit for McBride & the Ride in 1992.
He was one half of country music duo Brooks & Dunn. Their 1991 debut album, Brand New Man, generated four number-one hit singles on the country charts. Brooks usually provided backing vocals on their songs and singles. The singles featuring Brooks on lead vocals include, "You're Gonna Miss Me When I'm Gone", rising to No. 1, "Lost and Found," "Rock My World (Little Country Girl)," "Mama Don't Get Dressed Up for Nothing," "South of Santa Fe", and "Why Would I Say Goodbye."
On August 10, 2009, Brooks & Dunn announced to their fans, via their website they intended to disband after twenty years of touring. According to the short statement released on their web site, Brooks & Dunn intended to release a greatest hits album, tour during the rest of 2009, and have a farewell tour in 2010.
Brooks resumed his solo career in 2012, releasing a new 12-track album on September 11, 2012. New to This Town features nine songs co-written by Brooks, including the album's first single, the title track. He followed his second album with the soundtrack to the western film Ambush at Dark Canyon in 2014. Brooks composed the majority of the musical score as well as starring in the film.
On December 3, 2014, Brooks & Dunn re-united, and along with Reba McEntire, performed a series of concerts in Las Vegas, Nevada, throughout the summer and fall of 2015.
Brooks performed at the 2019 Musicians Hall of Fame and Museum Concert and Induction Ceremony.
AwardsBrooks and Dunn have more Country Music Association awards and Academy of Country Music awards than any act in the history of country music. They have the Country Music Association Vocal Duo of the Year award every year since they debuted in 1991 except in 2000 (the honor went to Montgomery Gentry), and in 2007 and 2009 (it was awarded to Sugarland). They sold over 30 million records, and continue to be one of the most-consistently successful touring acts on the concert circuit.
In 2005, Brooks, along with timber industrialist Roy O. Martin Jr., and the Louisiana State University sports legends Paul Dietzel, and Sue Gunter were among those named a "Louisiana Legend" by Louisiana Public Broadcasting.
On July 13, 2013, during his performance at Paragon Casino, Marksville, Louisiana, Kix Brooks was inducted into The Louisiana Music Hall of Fame.
Since January 2006, Brooks has hosted American Country Countdown, a syndicated radio countdown show based on Mediabase (originally was BILLBOARD, from 2006 to August 2009), country charts. Brooks succeeded the show's former host, Bob Kingsley. Brooks is also co-owner of Arrington Vineyards, a Nashville winery with winemaker Kip Summers and businessmen John Russell.
In 2013, Kix launched the film company Team Two Entertainment along with Eric Brooks. The company makes independent films Kix produces, and Kix occasionally appears as an actor.
In 2015, Brooks contracted with Cooking Channel to host Steak Out with Kix Brooks, in which he travels around America in search of the best steakhouses.